Meguti Temple, Aihole

   "Meguti Jain Temple" is another remarkable temple of its kind. Located in Aihole on the Megutigudda, this temple exhibits Dravidian style of architecture. The temple stands on a hill and thus named as "Megana Basadi", meaning the The Upper Temple, which in course of time was corrupted to Megudi or Meguti.
    The temple has a pillared hall in the front, and an antarala  and a sanctum in the back. On its outer walls is the famous Aihole inscription dated back to the 6th century (634 AD) which gives records of the temple construction by Ravikeerti, the commander and minister of Pulikeshin II. This temple has resemblance to the Lad Khan temple .
Meguti Temple
Magnificent Entrance
Door Frame
Jain Tirthankaras
Upper Structure
Roof
Hero Stone
Hero Stones
Fort Walls
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Usgalimal Rock Carvings Prehistoric Goa

    "Usgalimal" is a  famous place among the European tourists who visit Goa. To Indian tourists, other than the localites, this place is rather unknown.  We  happened to read about this place some time back and made sure not to miss it during our next visit to Goa. This Ugadi gave us a chance of making a trip to Goa and there we were!
    Usgalimal is a small hamlet on the banks of the river Kushavati. In the year 1993, some villagers had found mysterious rock carvings on the river banks. The same had been brought to notice of  the required authorities who further investigated and  found various such rock carvings in the area. The archeologists assign  these carvings to the Mesolithic period (around 9000 years old) as indicated in the brochure printed by the Govt. of Goa.
Usgalimal Rock Carving
Brochure Of Usgalimal Rock Engraving
    The rock art is full of carvings depicting symbols of religious cult, cosmology, triskelion, animals like bison, bull, deer, dog, peacock etc., as well as figures of labyrinth and mother goddess. Most probably, the engravings were carved using specially prepared using sharp pointed stone tools.
Bull - Usgalimal Rock Carving
The Peacock
Bison
Dancing Lady
Mother Goddess
New Born Child
Large Hoof Carvings
Two Dancing Ladies
Hunting Trap 
Human Feet
Labyrinth Usgalimal Rock Carving
Wounded Bison

Probably a Water Pond
A walk across the River
        There is no entrance fee to this place though there is a full time care taker who also guides the tourists. This place requires more attention and the maintenance. Since the carvings are open to sky, utmost care needs to be taken for protecting them. There are also chances of damaging the carvings due to walking over them. They can be best protected by creating a glass enclosure (see below pic) similar to the one in Shravanabelagola .
Glass Enclosure to Protect Inscriptions
   Directions from Panaji:  Panaji - NH17 - Margao - Take left turn - Quepem - Tilamol - Right turn - Rivona - Colomba - Right turn near mining area - Follow the Protected site board .

  Distance from Panaji: 75 kms

  Places to Visit around: Rivona, KurdiSurla, Canacona, Margao, Arvalem and many more.

  Trip date: 5 April' 2011

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Fort Midigeshi, Tumkur

     'Midigeshi' is a village located on the Tumkur-Pavagadh state highway. There is a lesser known hill top fort nearby this village. The fort is believed to have been built by a local Chieftain named Nagareddi and the fort itself was named by him after his wife Midigeshi, who was called so because she had  hair (kesha) long enough that reached her heel (midi). This place was ruled by queens of the same family for a long time.
    Chikkappa Gauda (Madhugiri's Chieftain) conquered this place after he was driven out from Madhugiri and Channarayanadurga.  Later, this place was captured by Haider Ali, then by the Marthas, again by Haider Ali 's son Tippu and finally by the British troops under Lord Cornwallis who later abandoned it. According to the legend, a beautiful princess named Chikka Mallamma was kidnapped by the Muslim rulers and kept in the hill fort. When she prayed to god for her release, the rock split  making a path for her descent and later she entered the fire in front of Lord Malleshwara.
First View of the Hill Top Fort
Midigeshi Fort
Reaching this village was relatively easy as it is located on the state highway. After entering the village, we inquired about the route for ascent. We started our climb hoping to make it  to the top before the temperature went up. This fort, like many other forts around the area is seven tiered. The major part of the fortification now is in ruins. The initial climb was very easy until we reached the second gate. Here, we had to overcome   a steep slope which was the most exciting part of our climb. After crossing the third gate, we came across a fleet of rock cut steps and thereafter the climb was easy.
Initial Climb
First Gate
Second Gate
Well Laid Steps
Cactus
Steep Climb
Third Gate

Fleet of Rock Cut Steps
Closer Look of Rock Cut Steps
View Downhill
 After crossing the sixth gate, we reached leveled ground. The first thing that caught our attention was a water pond which was probably their main source of water. There were narrow canals leading to the pond which were carefully designed so as to collect most of the rain water and increase the level of water in the pond. We then proceeded further to the Mosque like structure, probably built during the reign of Hyder Ali. The minarets of the Mosque were quite interesting. There were many structures in this area  including a ruined temple. Finally we reached the seventh gate which probably was an entrance to the erstwhile palace or the place where the king and queen lived. The view from the top was breathtaking.
The Final Climb
Sixth Gate
Water Pond
Rain-Water Transporting  Canal
The Mosque
Stair to the Top of the Mosque
 Water Pond
Ruined Structure
Last Tier of the Fort
Granary Entrance
Light Entering the Granary
Ruined Structures
Ruins Viewed  from the Top of the Mosque
View from the Top
Bird's Eye View of Midigeshi
  Lord Venkataramana Temple
   There are other magnificent temples of that period in the village along side a Jain temple.  There is no witness for the participation of the ASI in maintenance of this place. Altogether, a  nice place to visit.

Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - NH4 - Dabspet - Right turn - Madhugiri - Bypass - Midigeshi
 
Distance from Bangalore: 120 kms

Places to visit around:  Madhugiri, Madakasira, Channarayanadurga , Pavagada, Ratnagiri, Bhasmangi and many more

Trip Date: 30 Jan' 2011

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